Mobile Dev Survey: The Suits Are Taking Over

The business types are increasingly taking over the direction of enterprise mobile development initiatives, indicates a new survey from Red Hat Inc.

This information comes from a survey conducted recently that builds on a previous survey published early this year titled "Red Hat Mobile Maturity Survey, 2015" (free download upon registration).

While that survey polled some 200 IT decision makers, the new research surveyed 200 line-of-business (LOB) decision makers from U.S. and Western European private sector organizations.

"The latest research reveals that LOB decision makers are well-aligned with their IT colleagues on many aspects of mobile strategy, investment growth, performance measurement, and the increasing role of the business in mobile decision making," Red Hat said in a statement issued yesterday. "This points to greater harmony between LOB and IT in meeting demand for mobile apps."

However, one finding that might be of special interest to developers concerns a shift in responsibilities for enterprise mobile development.

"LOB decision makers see the current approach to mobile app development as primarily IT-led (38 percent) followed by business-led (24 percent)," Red Hat said. "However, they see this flipping towards being business-led (36 percent) over the next two years."

Perhaps not surprisingly, in the previous survey of IT decision makers, 62 percent of respondents said mobile development was being led by IT, while 42 percent said it was business-led.

Red Hat didn't speculate on why LOB respondents see the governance of enterprise mobility endeavors switching to the business side, but it may have to do with the lingering skills shortage that has given rise to more no-code or low-code dev tools designed to let ordinary business users -- rather than just trained devleopers -- build apps to meet the ever-growing demand.

Red Hat, an open source software champion that has been investing more in enterprise mobile development offerings, listed the following key findings from its latest research:

  • In regards to the current primary approach to building apps, LOB decision makers in the U.S. and Western Europe favor different methods. While 28 percent of U.S. LOB decision makers use a collaborative Mobile Center of Excellence (MCoE) approach, only 5 percent of LOB decision makers in Western Europe take this approach to app development.
  • LOB decision makers are more focused on client-side development tools and technologies, while relying on IT to support them with a range of modern app development and integration technologies. Seventy percent of LOB decision makers have already used the IT department as a resource for designing and building mobile apps, compared to just 27 percent that have used a third party.
  • LOB decision makers expect implementation of Internet of Things (IoT) projects to increase in 2016. Twelve percent of LOB decision makers said their organizations have already implemented an IoT project, but that number jumps to more than half (53 percent) that expect IoT projects to be initiated this year or next.
  • The majority of LOB decision makers (78 percent) cite the use of key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure mobile success and see responsibility for tracking these shifting more towards the business. LOB decision makers (58 percent) report that senior IT heads are currently responsible for tracking KPIs but half of LOB decision makers expect that LOB heads will be responsible for KPIs in the next year.

"The new mobile survey shows that there is a mutual understanding from both LOB and IT executives that mobile app development will take on more of a business-led approach in the near future," exec Cathal McGloin said in a statement yesterday. "Organizations that have fully implemented a mobile app strategy are more likely to be empowering their line of business managers to influence the development of mobile apps and are supported by IT through the use of modern app development tools, platforms and integration technologies. This is collaboration in action. I see the relationship between LOB and IT continuing to strengthen as mobile programs become increasingly focused on business outcomes."

Red Hat just teased the survey results in a news release, as a full report is in the works but not expected for several weeks, according to a spokesperson.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.